4/7/18: Swimming In SE Asia’s Biggest Waterfalls

I woke up around 8 again and went to get breakfast.

I asked to see the box of muesli they used, mainly to see if it had nuts but also to check if it was vegan.

It passed both tests, so I ordered muesli and fruit salad.

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After breakfast I went down to the hostel beach, swam for a bit, and laid out with Laura, Rose, and Jonny for a while. I figured out that I could get a pretty good workout by just swimming in place– the current was strong enough that it was like those “endless” exercise pools that are really small but have an artificial current so you’re just swimming against resistance.

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The swimming area by our hostel
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Jonny…

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We were hungry so we went to a vegan/vegetarian place that I had spotted on my run the day before.

It was called The Garden of Nang, and it was really cute. It’s run by two sisters who serve up mostly vegan and some vegetarian food.

Our orders again took forever— I was really glad I had ordered a smoothie, which served as a decent appetizer as I waited for my main course.

The wait was worth it, though. Everything was so delicious. Jonny said that his little side salad was the best salad he’s ever had in his life. I’m not sure if that was an exaggeration, but it was funny nonetheless.

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Watermelon/coconut smoothie
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Waiting for food

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Laura, Jonny, and Rose wanted to lay out on the beach next to the restaurant, but Malin and I wanted to see the Li Phi, aka the biggest waterfall in SE Asia, so we split up.

The waitress at the restaurant told us there were bike rentals across the river on the big island, so we headed that way. Once we crossed the river, however, the only bike rental we saw was at a really swanky hotel for $3.50. We opted out since that was way too expensive. We walked further and eventually walked into a store that had a tuk-tuk out front. We asked if we could get a ride to the waterfalls, and they agreed to take us for 10,000 kip (about $1) each.

The waterfalls turned out to be the same place where we first went yesterday, the one we were all making fun of because the “waterfalls” were so small.

Turns out that we just needed to go inside the park to see them. We paid the entrance fee of 35,000 kip (about $4) and headed in.

The falls were HUGE: there were so many, some big, some small, but all connected.

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Park area
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The falls! First lookout

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We spotted a guy attempting to kayak down one of the big falls, and it was simultaneously fascinating and terrifying to witness.

We walked further up the path and got to a viewpoint. We could see another guy prepping to go down the same waterfall as the previous guy. Malin and I decided to go down to the rocks for a better view.

As we were walking, the guy descended down the fall, so we missed it. I was just happy he survived though. These people are crazy!

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Kayaking dude!!

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We walked down the path further to the beach area. It was super nice and relaxing. We just waded in the water and talked to the others around us. We met two guys from New York who were born and raised on the Upper West Side. It was pretty cool to meet other New Yorkers and talk about New York things. One of them worked at an office right by me in the Financial District.

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Malin
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Swimming area
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New Yorkers and Malin

Around 5, Malin and I decided to head back. We wanted to hitchhike, but no one would take us. We ended up walking back, which wasn’t even that far. It only took us about an hour to reach the hostel.

I showered, had a beer with the crew, and then we headed to town to get dinner.

We went to a random restaurant we found on the way. I ordered curry with rice, which was cold and not that great. It was only 20,000 kip ($2.50), though so I guess I can’t complain too much.

We were all tired so we just headed back to the hostel and went to bed.


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